Beginner Books?

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by bangster, Dec 15, 2008.

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  1. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    If a beginner were to ask which three books should he buy to start with, what would y'all recommend?

    bangster
     
  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Bang, I always recommend the 2 Philip Balcomb books, The Clock Repair Primer, and Clock Repair First Reader as good basic books that don't talk over the head of the beginner. For a 3rd book, Steven Conover's Clock Repair Basics.
     
  3. terry hall

    terry hall Registered User
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    sorta depends on the person's interest.....right?
     
  4. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I guess I'm thinking clocks. Wouldn't know what to tell a beginner who wants to start out on watches.

    bangster
     
  5. ChuckR

    ChuckR Registered User

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    Bangster,
    I agree with Harold, He recommended them to me when I asked the same question a year ago. I think they are very good for the beginner. After that, I would suggest books by Conover. Hope this helps.

    Chuck
     
  6. terry hall

    terry hall Registered User
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    for watches....

    Good general knowledge...even though many are out of print... but can be borrowed from the NAWCC Library as a member benefit

    The American Pocket Watches Beginning to End 1830 to 1930 ( the 'gold' book) Ehrhardt-Meggers ISBN 0-913902-53-5

    Another Ehrhardt book... 1993 American Pocketwatch Encyclopedia... large, thick, sprial bound book covering most american manufacturers

    i am sorta 'hung' on the third choice... but 'any' year of the Shugart Price guide... and treat it as a 'guide' and a general reference...

    there are many other suggestions after one 'gets their feet wet' and needs advanced material references....

    one Important suggestion is THIS resource.... SEARCH the boards for prior posts... ASK questions...
     
  7. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Do any of those talk about the repair, care, and feeding of watches?

    bangster
     
  8. ChuckR

    ChuckR Registered User

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    Bangster,
    The three books harold suggested and I 2nd, do not have any info on watches and their care.

    Chuck
     
  9. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    No, I was asking about the ones Terry mentioned. Those look to me like books that would be useful for someone whose only interest is in COLLECTING watches, not someone interested in learning how to repair them. (By the way, that's not me. I'm a clock guy.)

    Apparently, not a lot of people besides y'all interested in making suggestions.

    One that I always recommend is Goodman's THIS OLD CLOCK.

    bangster
     
  10. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    #10 Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Dec 16, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
    As others have pointed out the answer is: IT DEPENDS

    The first person to answer automatically assumed 'CLOCKS', but he also assumed 'A beginner wanting to learn how to repair'.

    The person who started the WATCHES oriented answers, automatically assumed that the interest was 'Watch identification'.


    All of us sometimes are 'guilty' of just assuming, and all to often this leads to missunderstandings - and sometimes to hurt feeling and acrimony.


    As an exercise in broadening the approach to horology, I suggest that the regular readers of this Forum try to 1. Come up with as many different ways as possible tu understand the initial question: "If a beginner were to ask which three books should he buy to start with, what would y'all recommend?"

    and then recommend one book that that kind of 'beginner' would find useful.

    Maybe collectively we can create a broad based horological beginners reading list. If possible recomend books that are still in print or are still readily available.

    Here is my first contribution to our collective endeavor:
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Precise Question: I am a budding student of the history of timekeeping devices, what beginners level book would you recommend.

    Suggested Book:
    David Christianson: Timepieces - Masterpieces of Chronometry; published 2002 by Firefly Books, Toronto Canada, ISBN 1-55297-654-8, 176 p.

    Why: Well balanced between clocks and watches, starts in prehistory and goes to the present, many excellent color pictures, tells both the technical history of timekeepers, and the changing role timekeepers played in society.


    Who else will pick up this ball and suggest something?


    .
     
  11. terry hall

    terry hall Registered User
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    The initial post...
    I did not address repair.... did not see a mention of it until this post...


    So... for THAT aspect of watches...

    any version of Henry Fried...

    I also found a small book on adjusting watches some time ago... circa 1920... can't remember its name, but it gave specific examples of problems and efficient remedy with an estimated time frame.

    and I remember a book by DeCarle...

    This should take care of the initial response....

    Now for Fortunat's approach....

    I would suggest reading Mike Harrold's NAWCC publication titled American Watchmaking A Technical History of the American Watch Industry 1850 to 1930
     
  12. bchaps

    bchaps Registered User

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    Ok Fortunat...Here is the next question:

    I'm mentoring a person who is interested in learning American Pocket Watch Repair. What three books should he read first?

    Suggested:

    Fried - The Watch Repairer Manual
    Fried - Bench Practices for Watch Repairers
    Chicago School of Watch Making - Master Watchmaking (available on CD)
     
  13. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Good point, Fortunat. We often assume that the interests of other coincide with ours. In a bit I'll try a post that's a little more directed. (I just started this thread to get some dialogue going.)

    bangster
     
  14. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    My recommendation for a watch person is Marking Time by Micheal Korda. It covers a wide range of watch collecting interests and is widely available cheap.
    two other books worth consideration are

    Its about Time by Chamberlain which is the first book I read on the subject and is still wonderful but now hard to find and very expensive.

    I think another great one, more text and heavier than Christianson, which I found to be superficial is A Revolution in Time by David Landes.

    These are all very accessible to general readers with little previous knowledge of the subject.
     
  15. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    For someone interested in starting to learn to work on American Watches I'd also suggest the Joseph Bulova Course , which is for sale at the NAWCC Museum Bookstore.
     
  16. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Here is another hypothetical precise question:

    As a collector I know quite a bit about the history and functioning of pocketwatches, but I know nothing about 'WATCHMAKING' in the original sense of the word. How would a person go about making a watch. Is there a book on the subject?

    Suggested book:

    George Daniels, David Penney (Illustrations): Watchmaking; published by Sotheby's Park Bernet Publications, London, currently in its 2nd revised edition 1999 (Also available in French translation). Pages: 420 -- Height in cm: 26; ISBN: 0 85667 497 4

    Why I recommend this book for this question: As far as I know it is the only book in print that deals with the question, but more importantly theauthor knows what he is talking about. Daniels is one the few people around today who has personally made every part of a watch. He uses traditional methods but modern machinery. The illustrations are great, and it makes for good although sometimes tedious reading, even if you will never try to build a watch from scratch. You will understand watches much better once you worked your way through this superb book.



    Any other suggestions on this theme? How if we opened the question to include historic, long out of print books?


    .
     
  17. Todd W

    Todd W Registered User

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    Fortunat: If your interested in watchmaking there isen't much out there. The only other modern book that I am aware of that goes into detail about making a watch is Tourbillon über meine Passion by Steffen Pahlow. Until recently this book was only available in German. The other book is Fabrication Mécanique de la Montre by W. Favre-Bulle is in French and dates from 1915. I would be interested to hear what you could ad to this list.
    Then there books that go into detail about making some of the parts. Gazeley in Watch and Clock Making and Repairing goes into detail about making parts especially detents. Another excellent book on making parts is Archie Perkins The Modern Watchmakers Lathe and How to Use it, also the series of articles that Mr Perkins did over a long period of time in the AWI magazine on the restoration of watches described how to make every part of a watch.
     
  18. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Todd, Thanks for reminding me about Pahlow. He also ahs a book also available only on German on Case making. Since Daniels covers case making it seems appropriate to add Das klassische Taschenuhregehäuse.

    Not a book but there is the AHS video of Martin Matthews making a case from sheet silver using 18th century tools.
     
  19. Todd W

    Todd W Registered User

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    Dr Jon:

    Do you have a copy of Das klassische Taschenuhregehäuse? If you do what do you think of it? Is it a book that someone that was interested in casemaking but knew very little German could get anything out of.

    Todd W
     
  20. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Yes I have a copy and I like it a lot. I have had some German but I have not read much of it.

    The book is amply illustrated and I have not seen similar details, even in the Martin Matthews video.

    For example it has diagrams which show each ring in its form when made from stock and what is looks like afer final, ornamental turning. He shows initial set ups for trh stock in a vice and how to hold it with pliers while bending it.


    It covers all aspects of case making including making lift springs. One section describes making a plexiglass display case,

    There is a lot of German text, most of which I have not read, but I am sure its well worth the effort were I to make a case.

    If you were going to make a case I am sure the book would save you far more time than the equivalent cost of the book.

    To my knowledge there is nothing else out there. To me it does for cases what Daniels did for movements.

    I am sure it will reward any efforts to read the text but even with no German its better than anything else I have seen.

    If I had no German capability I'd probably start with Daniels section to get a feel for the processes and then try to apply it to Pahlow's book.

    Steffan Pahlow is an enthusuast and a gentleman. If you bought his book started to make a case and had a question I am sure you could get an answer from him by email. Buy the book.
     
  21. Todd W

    Todd W Registered User

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    Dr Jon:

    Thank you for that enthusiastic review, that book will go on my books to buy list.
     
  22. steffen pahlow

    steffen pahlow New Member

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    New book about Tourbillon making

    My bestseller ‘Tou_h_rbillon, about my passion’

    I love Tourbillon pocket watches. Often this kind of watch is very expensive. In order to save money I decided to make my own Tourbillon watches. It succeeded. For this reason, some friends desired and requested to pass my experiences. I did by writing books. However, many friends from foreign countries were sad and disappointed because of the German language.
    Now I can announce that my ‘bestseller’ book ‘Tou_h_rbillon, about my passion’ is available in the English language, starting from November 2008.

    It is not my passion to sell books or to sell watches, so I run no business of any kind in that way. A person interesting in my book must accept that I sell as a private person and cannot guarantee in any manner. For the time being you can order the book and buy only from me. Every book copy gets a number and is signed. The book found world-wide acknowledgment. More about the book click http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=yd1z_iwe3wk
    Thanks, and regards Steffen
     
  23. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Both of Steffen Pawlows books (actually all three if you count the German and English versions of toUHRbillion seperately) are very good and usefull books.

    In a way it is ironic that they are discusssed under the heading "Beginners Books" because all of them in some way a highly advanced books in that they deal with highly advanced and highly specialised horological subjects: A. Making a case ffrom scratch and B. Making a tourbillion watch from scratch.

    Anybody who actually attempt do do so is a advanced horologist by definition, but virtually everybody attempting to do so is also a "beginner", because there is virtually nobody around anymore who has done it once before himself.


    All of Phlows books are expensive, but well worth it if you want to go there and try the projects. If you are just curious you may prefer to borrow the books from the NAWCC library (Members only but the anual membership fee in AWCC cost you a fraction of what either book would cost you)


    # Title: klassische Taschenuhrgenhaeuse [Das...]
    SubTitle: Aufbau - Anfertigung - Instandsetzung
    # Author: Steffen Pahlow
    # Publisher: Steffen Pahlow
    Keywords: case advanced practical how-to
    Other Keywords: watchcase
    Language: GER
    Notes: Step by step instructions and account how to make a traditional pocket Watch case, richly illustrated in color.
    Edition: 2006, 2nd limited edition -- Copyright: 206
    Kind: Book
    Type: Pocket Watch
    Geographic area: Germany
    Topic: Making Craft
    Organization: Person
    Pages: 160 -- Height in cm: 26
    Print Status: 1 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
    Entered By: FMM
    BHM ID: 10813

    ------------------------------


    # Title: ToUHRbillion
    SubTitle: ueber meine Passion
    # Author: Steffen Pahlow
    # Publisher: The Author
    Keywords: Escapement advanced practical
    Other Keywords: tourbillion
    ISBN: 3 00 007108 9
    Language: GER
    Notes: Limited Edition, expensivly produced privat publication on how to make a chronometer escapment tourbillion watch, exact drawings
    Edition: 2001, 1st limited Edition -- Copyright: 2001
    Kind: Book
    Type: Watch (general)
    Geographic area: Germany
    Topic: Making Craft
    Organization: NA/other
    Pages: 543 -- Height in cm: 25
    Print Status: 1 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
    BHM ID: 1610



    Fortunat


    .
     
  24. Todd W

    Todd W Registered User

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    Mr Pahlow:

    Thank you for the wonderful books you have written. I have both Tourbillon books and have learned an immense amount about watchmaking from them. I am a beginning watchmaker and making my first watch and your books are a great assistants. The one thing I have had the hardest time discovering was the sizing of the thickness of parts. In watch design the designer is always working to make a thin watch. With the dimensioned drawings you provide in your books I have had a place to start from to size the parts for my watch.

    All The Best

    Todd W
     

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